'Dublin event reminiscent of financial Jewish scapeqoating'

November 26, 2010 04:03

In letter to Ireland's PM, Simon Wiesenthal Center says Irish economic meltdown cannot be camouflaged by anti-Semitism.

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The Jerusalem Post

Simon Wiesenthal 311. (photo credit: Simon Wiesenthal Center/Bloomberg)

The Director for International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Shimon Samuels on Wednesday sent a letter to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen saying that "the Center was struck by the timing of an event in Dublin, sadly reminiscent of financial scapegoating of the 1930's."

"In the midst of Ireland's greatest post-war crisis, a poster illustrating an atomized Europe around a Star of David, invites the public on December 3 to an Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign book launch/wine and cheese reception," read the letter.

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"The book, 'Europe's Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation', apparently, presents the EU as encouraging 'the apartheid state of Israel' and "calls for a continuation and deepening of international activism and protest to halt the EU's slide into complicity...it explores the complex political ties that have prevented European countries from holding Israel to account," the Wiesenthal Center explained.

"Who are these complex political ties?" Samuels questioned, saying that "the poster, and book cover it features, arguably fit the 2004 "working definition of anti-Semitism" of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, to which Ireland is, ipso facto, party."

Samuels explained that in the late 1980s he had "led a mixed caucus of Irish-American and Jewish-American United States senators and congressmen to Jerusalem and Dublin, co-organized by the Irish Development Authority. The declared purpose of the hosts was, to adapt from the empathy of American Jewry for the Jewish State, a program to enhance the affinity of Americans of Irish origin to the economy and land of their roots - then enjoying an economic boom."

"Anti-Semitic scapegoating has too often served to deflect attention from economic suffering," Samuels wrote. "In the 1930's, this led democracies into the abyss."

Samuels urged Cowen "to publicly condemn the timing of this poster and the book cover's subliminal message."

"In wishing Ireland a speedy recovery, we are confident that the people of Ireland will never allow the circumstances of the meltdown - reportedly, extortionate bank fees, obscene bonuses and mismanagement - to be camouflaged by antisemitism," Samuels added.

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